Interior Design Careers & Internships

Interior designers and merchandisers create aesthetic and functional living environments for human needs in residential and commercial buildings. Designers work to meet human needs and well-being, as well as safety and building codes. Through their work, they also create healthy and healing environments, consider sustainability and environmental issues, and understand basic construction and mechanical systems.

Design Your Own Path to Career Success

As an interior design major, you can pursue careers in technical and artistic fields. Opportunities are available for full-time or part-time employment, at corporate or nonprofit organizations, in residential or commercial industries, in small towns or large cities and for specialized or general design.

Salaries vary greatly depending on your experience, firm size and focus, location, firm clients/projects and opportunities for promotion. Here are some annual salary ranges you can expect:

  • Entry-level designers and merchandisers: $25,000 to $40,000
  • Junior designer: $35,000 to $55,000
  • Senior designer: $45,000 to $70,000
  • Design director: $65,000 to $100,000
  • Firm officer/executive: $100,000+

Get Real-World Interior Design Experience in College

An internship is required for all interior design students, and this usually occurs during junior year. The interior design chairperson will help you find an internship that is the best fit for your career goals and your site supervisor.

Students often participate in internships at architectural firms, design firms, office furniture dealerships and in sales positions. During an internship, you might work on a residential, corporate, healthcare, eldercare, hospitality or sustainable design project.